The 1920s were a wild time – jazz music, flappers, art deco and stock market highs. People dreamed big; for every success story, there was the tale of someone who did something incredibly stupid. In the latter category we have the Hertzmobile, a bit of tomfoolery dreamed up by John Hertz, as in Mr. Hertz Corporation. It wasn’t enough to rent cars, he said. Let’s make a car! The best rental car ever.
Nobody wanted it. The company almost fell apart. Why? Back then, renting a car was a bit like renting a couch or a TV from one of those rent-a-center places today. People looked down on it. When people picked up a vehicle from Hertz, they didn’t necessarily want people to know this. They wanted everyone thinking they owned the car. (We can safely assume that back then, Hertz was not renting Kia vehicles.)
A few decades later, Hertz used this cautionary tale in an advertisement, one that is intended to demonstrate just how serious the company is about car rentals. Wait -- did they just say that Hertz once rented bicycles?